Provence is France’s most popular holiday region. The Romans conquered this area in 2nd Century B.C. and named it Provincia, “the province”, thus the name Provence.  This vast region, officially called Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in southeastern France, is diverse and full of beauty captured by the painters it inspired like Cézanne, van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse.

Provence consists of the following départements (or areas) …

  • Vaucluse with Avignon, Luberon (Gordes, Lourmarin, Ménerbes), Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Bouches-du-Rhône at the southern end of the Rhone River with Arles, Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence
  • Alpes-de-Haute-Provence includes Sisteron and Gorges du Verdon (Europe’s Grand Canyon)
  • The Var & Provençal Coast includes Toulon and St-Tropez
  • Haute-Alpes is mountainous with the town of Gap
  • Alpes-Maritimes with Grasse, St-Paul-de-Vence and the French Riviera with Nice, Monaco and Cannes

Within the region there are boundless opportunities to explore…beaches, shopping, historical sites, wine, sports from hiking to boating, cities, casinos and even a national park.

And with all these options, it was hard to narrow down where to go last Autumn. I’d been to the Côte d’Azur before but dreamed of a holiday in Provence, sitting at a cafe in a Provençal village in the sunshine enjoying a local wine.  We decided to mix the classic Provence Villages with Wine, Spa and Coast.

Over the next few days I’ll take you along on our 8 day journey of Provence.